Serial killers have stalked the capital’s streets in years gone by, ghosts are rumoured to lurk in the halls of Edinburgh castle, and the hidden streets below Old Town are thought to be populated only by phantoms from the past nowadays.
With Halloween fast approaching, you might be looking for a spooky thrill in the scariest month of the year.
We’ve gathered together some of the spookiest ghost stories from locations all over Edinburgh according to Forever Edinburgh, a travel site run by Edinburgh City Council, and Time Out.
Here are six of the most haunted spots in Edinburgh that you can visit
1. Greyfriar's Kirkyard
With a churchyard filled with old gravestones, Greyfriar's Kirkyard just off Candlemaker's Row is known to have a few ghost stories attached to the area. Not only is it the place of rest for money, but there were also many religious persecutions carried out there throughout the 17th century. The Black Mausoleum in the Kirkyard is the final resting place of Sir George Mackenzie, a former Lord Advocate and has apparently been the location for more than 500 recorded incidents of the poltergeist attacking people, ever since it was first disturbed by a homeless man looking for shelter.
Photo: Jon Savage Photography
2. The White Hart Inn
Burke and Hare are one of Edinburgh's most infamous duos, two known bodysnatchers who were active between 1827 and 1829. There are various spots around the city where Burke and Hare have been rumoured to lurk, but the highest number of ghostly sightings have been at The White Hart Inn at Grassmarket, which they used to frequent on dark nights. To top it off, Grassmarket itself was once the location of hundreds of hangings in Edinburgh.
3. The Real Mary King's Close
Learn all about the stories that lurk underneath the stones of the Royal Mile by conducting a tour of the Real Mary King's Close on the Royal Mile opposite St Giles' Cathedral. Back in the 1600’s, Mary King’s Close and other neighbouring closes were at the heart of Edinburgh’s busiest and most vibrant streets. In the days of the plague, residents lived and died there, only for it to be built over as the city expanded, leaving some buildings still intact. It's said that the ghosts of the old inhabitants still walk the closed-off alley after dark.
Photo: JPI Media
4. Blair Street Vaults
Deep below Edinburgh, the Blair Street Vaults are a series of chambers buried underground and dating back to the 19th Century. In the 1800s, the archways were used as slum housing for dozens of families in horrific living conditions. Sickness was rife, but no written records were kept as to who lived and died down there. Newspaper reports from as early as 1815 told stories of spirits being heard shifting around inside the vaults. Although the vaults spread all over the city below ground, the entrance can be found at 28 Blair Street.
Photo: Greg Macvean